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Bridge project means month-long detour

Motorist used to using WIllowdale Road to get home will have to take an alternative street for the next few weeks while the bridge over Ochoco Creek is replaced.
Motorists using the Willowdale Road bridge over Ochoco Creek will have to detour around that stretch for a couple weeks, while the bridge is being replaced. Crook County Roadmaster Norm Thompson explained that the old bridge was setting on footings and during high water was subject to washouts. The new bridge will be installed on pilings driven into the ground. Concrete caps will then be poured on top of the pilings and the roadway placed on top. When the job is completed the bridge will actually be a foot higher than the old bridge. Thompson said the cost of the project is borne by federal money, with only about ten percent coming from the county. Several construction companies bid on the job, but Carter and Co. from Salem was low. Coming in lower than originally estimated, Thompson said the entire project will cost about $173,000. "It was estimated at about $300,000," Thompson said. "I tried to get the extra money for some other projects but that wasn't possible." The bridge replacement is expected to be completed by the end of October.